Philippines triples COVID-19 testing capacity with new kits


Posted at Mar 30 2020 10:26 AM

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The recent arrival of additional screening kits for the novel coronavirus has allowed the Philippines to run 1,000 tests a day from the previous daily average of 300, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Monday. 

"Dahil nga tumaas ang capacity, iyong testing kits dumami at nakakapag-1,000 [tests a day na], asahan natin tataas pa ang bilang ng ating COVID-positive cases," he told DZMM. 

(Because our capacity grew -- the testing kits increased and we can now run 1,000 tests -- we should expect the number of COVID-positive cases would also spike.) 

"Huwag po natin asahan na dahil nag-lockdown tayo ante mano, kaagad-agad e babagsak na ang kaso ng COVID," he added. 

(Let's not expect that just because we imposed a lockdown, our COVID cases will immediately drop.) 

The Philippines as of Sunday confirmed 71 deaths or about a 5-percent fatality rate out of its total 1,418 cases of the disease. 

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged late last year, reached its peak of new daily cases of COVID-19 in mid-February, some 3 weeks after its lockdown. 

DZMM, March 30, 2020